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my childhood, Uncategorized

Sa Wa Dee


When I was a kid and a teen, my Uncle Bruce, had a Siamese named Sawadee, or “Dee” for short. Despite being a tiny slip of a cat, no more than eight pounds, she was the meanest cat I’ve ever known. When I went to stay with my uncle, who also took care of my grandfather, I slept on the couch in the living room. At night that cat would sit for hours, glaring at me cross-eyed. I’d wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, there she was. In the morning I’d get up, and she’d be there waiting for me. If I stared back at her, she’d growl at me. If I tried to touch her, I’d need a box of band-aids. There were two people who could touch her at all, Bruce, and my grandfather, Basil. She adored Bruce.  She tolerated my grandfather; because after 50 years as a rough carpenter, he could care less if she scratched him, so she had given up trying to. A visitor, I was below her on the pecking order, and she hated me because I slept on “her sofa”–an unforgivable offense. Dee outlived my grandfather and lived to a ripe old age of 25, dining daily on the brains of the Cape Cod voles she caught in the yard and the marsh.


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